Combining Photo Elements
with Photoshop


For three decades I have used Adobe Photoshop for creating composite photos, but as of late 2019 Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite are no longer supported by the MacOS operating system. So I have been transitioning to GIMP 2.10, a free, open source application which can do many of the things Photoshop does. We'll see how that goes.

Final graphicThis is the final composite graphic I'm going to produce for the Fire Service Jeep Toys pages, showing a model Jeep in a real-world background photo.


The foreground element is photographed against a contrasting background which is similar to the color of the final background. I used a video camera, and grabbed a frame from the video.

Foreground transparent

In Photoshop, the foreground element is carefully selected and cut out of the image, and adjusted in size if necessary.

BG photo

The background photo has been scanned in from the original source.

Final graphic

The foreground is pasted into a separate layer on top of the background, so it can be positioned and color-corrected to match.

Details on each layer, such as the firefighter's coat and helmet, can be retouched as necessary.

This tutorial was posted in 2001, but I was still using basically the same approach in 2010 for a Scrambler loading some firewood (280K JPEG) and a Funline Muscle Machines Jeep on a dragstrip (240K JPEG). -- Derek Redmond

See also some more early examples:

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Last updated 31 January 2020 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond